It’s not a secret that I love staycations and Airbnb is one of my favorite booking platforms. You can find rentals that aren’t available in regular booking sites — from stylish condo units in cities to lovely beach houses and resthouses in idyllic farms or mountainside. I use Airbnb for mini-vacations and sometimes when I want a new space to work to.
Here I’m going to tell you about my favorite Airbnb staycations in or near Manila.
Now that’s out of the way, here are my favorite Airbnb staycations!
1. Ataalaya Farmhouse (Alitagtag, Batangas)
Ataalaya Farmhouse is a private bed-and-breakfast located in Alitagtag, Batangas.
One of my first thoughts about Ataalaya Farmhouse is that it’s the most beautiful Airbnb I’ve seen and that still holds true today. The house sits atop a hill facing Taal Lake and Mount Maculot on one side, so the views are amazing.
The 2-storey house is traditional yet comfortable, with a prominent Filipino design mixed with Cape Dutch and Indian styles.
My favorite part about this Airbnb is the outdoor jacuzzi with the Taal Lake in the backdrop. Literally any photo that you take here is perfect! There’s also a farm across the house which you can visit if you wish to see some animals.
2. Narra Hill (Tagaytay, Cavite)
Narra Hill is one of the most gorgeous staycations in Tagaytay. This bed-and-breakfast is a hidden gem, located about 30 minutes away from the city proper.
I’d already been here twice, the second was an anniversary trip with my boyfriend Hali. We stayed in a premiere suite, which has a spacious interior with a queen-sized bed, bathroom with hot tub, and balcony with view of the outdoor pool and Taal Lake.
Aside from the premiere suites, there are also cottages located on one side, surrounded by lush forests and with a dipping pool.
In terms of IG-worthiness, this certainly ticks the boxes. They also serve delicious meals for an additional fee. It’s a great place for special staycations whether it’s with family or friends.
3. The Lake Farm
Hali and I love this place so much. The Lake Farm is a nature staycation located in San Fernando, Pampanga, about 2 hours drive from Alabang or any part in Metro Manila.
This farm property features a huge villa and a casita, a large outdoor pool with four sections, a serene man-made lake, and lots of fruiting trees, plants, and animals.
We stayed in the Casita which is only a few steps away from the lap pool. It has spacious interiors with a queen-sized bed, dining area, separate toilet and bath, and a balcony with dining tables so you can enjoy meals or sip hot drinks with a lake view. We enjoyed the stay — particularly exploring the farm to see the animals!
4, Lalam Kalumpang
This private villa in Mabini, Batangas, is such a pleasant surprise. It’s a great place for those who are looking for an exclusive beachfront staycation and those who are into snorkeling and freediving.
The villa has 3 separate cottages with bed and en suite bathrooms, alfresco dining area, and a kitchen. It has a pebble beachfront and several meters away from the shore are healthy reefs and sea turtles!
I stayed here for 2 nights with Hali, as well as my brother and sister-in-law. We liked the design and privacy of the cottages and the fact that caretaking services are included, so we were able to ask the staff to prepare the meals for us instead. The snorkeling here is amazing! We saw two turtles playing together and then later on a group of baby sharks on a nearby shore.
5. Lily Vacation Farmhouse (Jalajala, Rizal)
Lily Vacation Farmhouse is exactly what you need if you’re looking for a staycation to get away from the stress in the city. The house and the surrounding farm is spacious, so it’s ideal for families and even intimate events.
I liked the modern aesthetics of the house. It has 3 bedrooms, living and dining areas, and a kitchen. There are also outdoor cottages and tents available upon request.
There’s a nice outdoor pool where you can take a swim to cool off and other activities that you can do, including horseback riding, ATV ride, and animal visits.
Hali and I came here with other bloggers for an event. As Lily Vacation Farmhouse is located in Jalajala, Rizal, it’s a little bit out of the way, but it’s worth the drive.
6. Little House by the Beach (Lobo, Batangas)
Little House by the Beach is a private beach house in Lobo, Batangas. It’s ideal for casual staycations or as base for those who like snorkeling, since it is directly located across an abundant house reef.
I came here with Hali, along with my sister and niece. It was a last-minute booking for the holidays, so we were lucky to still find a decent place for an out-of-town trip. We had a really great time here. Our favorite experience was snorkeling in front.
The beach house features a narrow, efficient space, with one bed and couch. It also has a fully furnished kitchen and two bathrooms. I find the design quirky and inspired, with heavy doors, old-fashioned kitchen area with hanging pots and pans, and nautical-themed decorations.
Lobo is a popular location for snorkeling and diving, so you might want to book here during off-peak season to enjoy the place to yourselves.
Update: This house is listed under a new host. You can still find it in Airbnb!
7. Casa Belinda (Lipa, Batangas)
Casa Belinda is a private resort in Lipa, Batangas. I like it for its aesthetics and location — it’s only a few minutes from the center of Lipa but also secluded enough so you can enjoy a quiet stay.
I went here with a group of friends. Hali and I got the standalone two-bedroom cottage, which is just beside the lettuce farm. There are also individual rooms available by the poolside.
Casa Belinda features a swimming pool, jacuzzi and lounge where you can play billiards and other games. You can also visit the lettuce plantation and animal houses and even order organic lettuce you can eat on your meals or take home.
Update: This listing is no longer available in Airbnb.
What I look for in Airbnb spaces
As I said above, I use Airbnb a lot but I don’t always post about it here. I only post about the really good ones.
Here are the the things I look for in an Airbnb unit:
- Design and aesthetics. I love beautiful architecture. Having IG-worthy corners is just a result of good style.
- Location. I prefer listings that are only 1-2 hours away from Manila. Anything further is fine as well as long as I’m able to book at least 2 nights, since commuting or driving can get pretty tiring. I also consider its distance from the nearest commercial space, particularly stores and restaurants.
- Accessibility. Is it mobile friendly? I don’t mind a little walk every now and then, but I don’t want to spend my energy just moving from one space to another. Hali and I once booked a small beach-front house that overlooks the ocean, but going to the beach area requires climbing down a flight of 100+ steps. It was tiring and we only went for a swim once.
- Activities. I love staycations but at the same time I don’t want to be stuck in a room for the whole day. I prefer other activities to be available, whether it’s strolling around a farm, taking a dip in a pool or a beach, videoke or other entertainment or access to good restaurants or cafes nearby that I can visit.
These are basically the deciding factors for me when choosing which to book and whether I like it.
So far, these are my favorite Airbnb staycations near Manila. Do you have other suggestions? Let me know in the comments below!
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Katherine Cortes is a 30-something freelance writer/editor. She likes beaches, snorkeling trips, and relaxing staycations (preferably with bath tubs!).